17 Aug 2006

Multi-party cabinet could resolve instability in Cook Islands says expert

3:18 pm on 17 August 2006

An expert on regional politics says the Cook Islands could look at establishing a multi-party cabinet to avoid the instability of previous administrations.

The professor of governance at the University of the South Pacific, Graham Hassall, says suggestions to move to preferential voting from the current first past the post system may not achieve any greater stability.

He says the problem is that opposition MPs feel excluded from having a role in decision making but a multi-party cabinet could resolve that issue.

Mr Hassall says there could also be a change in who MPs represent by creating national seats.

"Having members representing not just one small island community but having to gain support from other islands as well. Could there be national seats, for example, so that voters could vote not only from within their own island constituency but could vote for candidates from some other part of the country."

The USP Professor of Governance, Graham Hassall.

A snap general election is being held in the Cook Islands next month.